Cobra Kai season 5 ended with Terry Silver finally getting his karma, but what does that mean for the Cobra Kai dojo? What about Kenny, the teenager that Silver took under his wing and mentored? After the epic Season 5 finale, Kenny Payne is at a crossroads.
Cobra Kai to burst Dallas Dupree Young spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife on Kenny’s ups and downs in Season 5. From Silver’s “heartbreaking” betrayal to Hawk’s attack on the mat, there are so many layers to peel back on Kenny. The young actor was also considering a possible season 6 and his hopes of further exploring Kenny’s home life and a showdown with Anthony LaRusso.
After the truth is revealed about Terry Silver, Kenny is the first to take off his shirt and throw it at Silver. How do you think Kenny will handle this? It is quite a betrayal and a shock for him.
Dallas Dupree Young: I personally believe Kenny is going to struggle for a minute. You know, just the feeling that his mentor and his friend really betrayed him. And the way he did it too. He cheated at the Vallée de l’Alle. Kenny really felt like his team had won, like he had finally won something… I think he’s going to feel that heartbreak for a minute. You saw that in the last scene with Robby, [he said], “I need you to give me a second.” So I think it’s going to take a bit of time to adjust. But in the end, I think he will come back to karate and have a new light and perspective on life. But I think that scene with Terry Silver was heartbreaking and heartbreaking for him.
Kenny is the one who throws the first punch with the kids. It’s quite an evolution since the first time we met Kenny. Do you think that moment really solidified him as the leader of whatever type of pack he finds next?
Dallas Dupree Young: I feel like that moment really solidified his leadership position. It showed that he wasn’t going to take shit from anyone. Honestly, he was ready to get in on the action and fight the biggest guy, the All Valley champ, in Miguel. I remember seeing the script that day and being like, “Oh my god, I’m throwing the first punch. I’m so excited for this. And then it came out great on camera, so I was really grateful to see that. It’s really cool to see my evolution grow as Kenny.
How do you think Kenny, given what he knows now, views Robby? There was a lot of anger there.
Dallas Dupree Young: There is definitely a lot of anger. There is a lot of resentment. But at the same time, he feels a little more compassion for Robby and he listens a little more to what Robby says. Throughout the season, he didn’t want to hear anything Robby said simply because he felt like Robby betrayed him as well. I feel like he kinda listened to it, even if he wasn’t ready to show it to Robby. I think maybe we can see that and expand on that in later seasons.
I feel like Kenny is gonna go home and start doing this math meme and try to figure out, okay, who can I trust? Who can I be allied with? This kind of turns his whole world upside down.
Dallas Dupree Young: It definitely upset everyone. At this point in Season 5 Episode 10, Kenny doesn’t know who to trust anymore. He doesn’t know who to be friends with. He doesn’t know who to love. I mean, Kenny is having a hard time figuring out who his people are now, and I think that’s going to be really exciting to see in later seasons.
I was going to talk about Anthony. Of course they [Anthony and Kenny] have a long history. Both parties have certainly done things that may have prevented them from working things out. Do you see that dynamic as something like Tory and Sam or Robby and Miguel where they could possibly agree? Or do you think we’re still here for the long haul that these two can’t make it work?
Dallas Dupree Young: Me personally, I think there will be a time when they agree and they respect each other. But for now, I think they’ll just pull it off, honestly. There is going to be a long-standing rivalry and feud between the two, so I’m interested to see what happens between their relationship.
In Episode 8, when they compete for the Sekai Takai, this silver bullet was dirty. Were you surprised Kenny went this far knowing what he could do?
Dallas Dupree Young: I remember reading the script, and I was really paying attention to the silver bullet and everything that happened between the scene between Terry Silver and Kenny. Going into this fight against Hawk, I really didn’t expect him to go this far. Honestly, I wasn’t really sure he was going to win the fight at first. How he won it, I was a little unsure about that. But in the end, Kenny won. I was really hyped, but I was really shocked that Kenny went this far, especially seeing the kid he was in Season 4. He completely changed his mindset.
Do you think there is a possibility that he will join Daniel and Johnny, or could he find his way back to Cobra Kai? I mean, Kreese got out of jail.
Dallas Dupree Young: I think there is always a possibility that he could go to Daniel and Johnny’s dojo just because he doesn’t have a dojo at the moment. Although there are so many different dojos in the valley. These are just the ones that are very popular in the valley. I think there’s always a chance he could go to Miyagi-do, but Kenny has that Cobra Kai mentality. He has the Cobra Kai mindset. If he gets the opportunity to go back to Cobra Kai, I think he will at some point. But we will see what will happen in the following seasons.
Season 6 hasn’t been greenlit yet, but is there anything you might want to discuss more with Kenny that we haven’t covered in the past two seasons? Maybe a novel?
Dallas Dupree Young: There are two things I would like to see in future seasons. I would love to see Kenny and Anthony’s relationship grow if it can grow a bit more and then integrate it a bit more into Kenny’s family life. We haven’t talked about Kenny’s mom, dad, or brother at all in Season 5. Well, we’ve freshened it up a bit. But I’m interested to see if they can dig a little deeper into that story in Season 6.
There was a lot of karate this season. Obviously, it’s karate, but the physique was really there this season. Did you feel like you had to train more than usual?
Dallas Dupree Young: For Season 5, I feel like I definitely needed to practice a lot more. It was much more intense, and the stakes were as high as they ever were in Season 5. I feel like the battle between Miyagi-do and Cobra Kai was the last one, it was the great hurrah of the end. I felt like my Kenny character was performing the way I wanted it to, I felt like I had to train a lot harder and make sure my technique was great and think about the origins of karate at the same time. We talked about character development with the stunt coordinators, but I definitely worked a lot harder in Season 5 than I did in Season 4 with the training.
Kenny and Anthony have come face to face, whether at a water park or at school, are you trying to manifest a battle between these two on the mat? I feel like it’s inevitable.
Dallas Dupree Young: Yes, we have to realize it. That’s what excites me. I need to see a real karate battle between Anthony LaRusso and Kenny Payne. I don’t know when we’ll see it, but I have to manifest it now. It would be a dream come true for me.